I love game meat, in winter I use to prepare it more times, and wild boar is between my favorites.
I use to prepare it stewed, with usual Italian flavors, but this recipe it’s very unique for nowadays common taste, and the first time it can be very surprising 🙂 perfect for some special occasion.
It’s an old Tuscan recipe, whose origins date back to Middle Age time first (obviously without chocolate then) and developed during the Renaissance time, when more fruits and spices have been added to it. The use of chocolate is recorded for the first time in the famous book of Pellegrino Artusi “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene“, written in the 1891.
Mostly only pine nuts and raisins are used, but I thought that some dried plums would fit perfectly too, and even some dates (there are some recipes from Ancient Roman times where dates where used in some wild boar recipes, so why not?).
A curiosity: in the past in Tuscany also crested porcupine used to be cooked in this way (nowadays it’s illegal) 🙂
Let’s see! (here below the ingredients for the “dolce forte” sauce)
INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- 1 kg wild boar meat
For the marinade:
- 2 glasses red wine
- 1 glass red wine vinegar
- 1 medium size onion
- 1 rib of celery
- 1 carrot
- 2 cloves
- juniper berries
- fresh rosemary
For the sauce:
- 1 onion
- extra virgin olive oil
- 30 g dark chocolate, 70%
- 40 g sugar
- red wine vinegar (2 fingers of a small glass, about)
- 30 g pine nuts
- 40 g raisins
- 3-4 dried plums
- 2-3 dates (if the big Medjool type, otherwise a couple more of the normal ones)
- candied cedar (I couldn’t find it, so I used some candied orange peel)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove of garlic
- freshly ground black pepper
- The day before put the wild boar meat (trim the fat and cut it into pieces of the same size, about 3-4 cm) in a bowl with the wine, the vinegar and the vegetables cut into pieces, not too small. Also the juniper berries, the cloves and the rosemary. Leave it in the fridge at least 12 hours.
- The day after take a large pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and then add the drained meat to brown. Do it well on all the sides, until its water evaporates.
- Meanwhile take a cocotte, heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and start simmering the onion, cut into small pieces, until soft.
- When the onion is soft and the meat well browned, add the meat in the cocotte, cover it with half of the marinade liquid and the vegetables of the marinade (but not the juniper berries and the cloves), and add also some hot water. Season with some salt and pepper. The meat has to be almost covered with liquids. Cover the cocotte and let it simmer at very low heat for about 2 and half/3 hours.
- When the meat is soft and falling apart easily, take a small pot and prepare the “dolce forte” sauce: at medium heat first add the vinegar and the sugar, the garlic, the bay leaf, then the chocolate cut into very small pieces, mix well and then add all the fruits (raisins and plums must previously be soaked in warm water for about 1 hour, and then squeezed) and the candied cedar. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the dolce-forte sauce to the meat (but remove the garlic and the bay leaf), and let it simmer together for other 5 minutes.
- Serve it 🙂 next to it I prepared Polenta.